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COVID-19 outbreaks reported at 4 KSU sororities; overall cases spike

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 17:36:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Riley County, Kansas, Health Department and Kansas State University said Friday that four sororities are battling outbreaks of COVID-19 as the university sees a spike in cases.

The four sororities — Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega and Kappa Delta — each have at least five COVID-19 cases. Health officials say any member of a Greek house that has had an outbreak should quarantine for 14 days.

“The leaders of local fraternities and sororities are cooperating with health department staff, but we have concerns that the safety messages are not reaching all of the members,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said Friday in a news release.

According to a separate release Friday from the university, the number of students either in quarantine or isolation jumped nearly 170% in one week, from 198 students on Aug. 21 to 531 students on Friday.

Additionally, the university said that roughly 35 new cases of COVID-19 were reported each day this week at the Lafene Health Center, where the positivity rate now stands at 19.1%.

The outbreaks at the sororities come less than 10 days after 13 students at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity tested positive for COVID-19.

"The recent outbreaks demonstrate the need for us to work together and keep lines of communication open," university President Richard Myers said in a release. "We appreciate the leadership shown by the representatives of these organizations and expect them to cooperate with our health officials. All of us need to work together to help mitigate the spread of this virus."

County health officials say they are working with school and Greek life leaders to cancel or revoke all Greek life event permits between Aug. 27 and Sept. 10.

Earlier Friday, seven players on the K-State football team tested positive for COVID-19.